Windows Blue Screen (BSoD) (0xc000000f) A Required Device isn’t Connected

A Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) with any kind of error message or code is one of the most undesirable things a Windows user wants to see on the screen. As scary as they normally seem, there are several possible ways to fix them and this tutorial presents some of the most effective solutions. This particular BSoD error says: “Recovery: Your PC/Device needs to be repaired. A required device isn’t connected or can’t be accessed” and the error code is “0xc000000f”.

The solutions below are presented in the order of complexity. As such, it is advisable to attempt them in the order in which they are presented so as to avoid any further complication to the problem.

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SOLUTION 1: Check and Remove Any Attached Hardware Devices

This is the first thing to look out for. Removing any attached devices and restarting the computer. Such devices include printers, scanners, external hard disks, and other USB devices. These devices could cause Windows to pop a Blue Screen when they malfunction. Typical malfunctioning of such devices could range from issues with the drivers to a total failure in their operations.

Unfortunately, not all BSoD errors are able to point to the actual cause of the Blue Screen. So even though this BSoD error talks about the required device not being connected, it could still be caused by an unrequired device being connected, so you should definitely start by checking the attached devices.

SOLUTION 2: Check for Lose Hard Disk Connection

This is arguably the most common cause of this particular BSoD error, especially if your computer had been working properly and you hadn’t installed any hardware or software to it before the error. Then is possible that you have a loose hard disk connection.

Obviously, this is completely physical. It could happen due to some major vibrations or shock, needless to say, that no matter what software solutions you try to implement if this is the issue and is not resolved then nothing would work.

You will need to figure out where your hard disk is located, for most laptops, it is readily accessible from the back-cover underneath, others are more difficult to access especially is they are underneath the keyboard. If your hard disk is that difficult to access, then maybe you can try out the other suggestions first before taking the extra pain to locate your hard disk.

If you’re able to access your hard disk, all you need to do is to detach and reattach the hard disk firmly to the connector. If you notice some dust or debris around the connector or port, then use dry cotton to wipe off the dust before reattaching. Couple back the laptop and try to boot it up again.

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SOLUTION 3: Check for Dual Disk Configurations

This is a rare situation but a potential cause of this BSoD error. A dual-disc configuration allows Windows installation files to be spread across two or more disks on the computer. Sometimes this happens without the user’s knowledge.

If after the Windows installation you decide to remove the second disk which you might think has nothing to do with your installed Windows, you will likely experience this error because some of the files required to boot up your Windows were store in the removed disk.

In this case, you will need to reattach the other disk before you can properly boot into your Windows. Afterward, you can choose to reinstall Windows with only the primary disk connected, then after the installation, you can attach the secondary disk. This way when you detach the secondary disk you are still able to run your Windows fully from the primary disk alone.

SOLUTION 4:  Check BIOS Boot Order Configuration

Again, like in the previous fix, if you have more than one disk attached to your computer, it is likely that your BIOS is configured to boot a disk without any Windows installed on it first. As such the actual disk with Windows installation is ignored during boot, hence “A required device isn’t connected or can’t be accessed”.

For this situation, you need to check the boot priority order of your disks in the BIOS. Normally you should have your hard disk at the top of the priority order so that your BIOS doesn’t try to boot into some other devices or disks with no operating system.

To check the boot priority order, you need to know the key or combination of keys that will take you to your BIOS. This could be the F2 or F12, or combination of escape key and some other function key.

Power on your laptop and immediately keep pressing the key until you see your BIOS page, it should look something like this or maybe a more different interface.

From the BIOS, try to find where it says boot, boot order, or boot priority, or something in that line. Some BIOS would have it under advanced settings or system configurations, check around and see where yours is located. For this laptop, it is right on the top menu, so I will navigate to it.

Here I have my boot devices, and as it shows here, any USB device attached to this PC will try to boot first before my hard disk, that needs to change except if I’m trying to run some installation from a USB, but that’s not the case here.

To change this order, the BIOS gives a clue that F6 takes a device up in the boot order while F5 brings it down, so with the arrow key I will move to my hard drive which is this HDD/SSD, then use the F6 key to take it to the top of the boot order.

After that hit F10 to save changes and then select yes to complete the process. If this is the problem in your case, then upon restarting it should boot you back into Windows.

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SOLUTION 5: Using Bootrec Utility Tool to Fix Boot Configuration Data (BCD)

For this solution we will be using the bootrec tool to try to locate any windows installations on all disks attached to your computer and then add them back to the boot list so the boot manager can locate them during startup. To do this you will need a bootable USB with Windows 10 installation files. Click here to learn how to make a bootable USB with Windows 10 installation files. Using a fast USB 3.0 flash drive could significantly speed up this process.  

Attach your Windows 10 USB stick and press the power button on your computer to start the process. Using the corresponding function keys or combination of escape and function keys, select your boot device to boot from the USB. On the initial set-up page select Windows 10 64-bit or 32-bits depending on your platform.

Wait for the installation files to load, then select next on this page.

Here click on repair your computer.

Next, select troubleshoot.

Then command prompt.

On the command line type: bootrec /fixmbr and hit enter.

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It should say the operation completed successfully. Next type the command bootrec /fixboot, it should again say the operation completed successfully.

Then type, bootrec /scanos and hit enter. Obviously this command scans all your disks to see if there are windows installations on any of them. This could take some time depending on your system specifications and the size and number of disks to scan so you might have to wait a bit.

After scanning, it will inform you whether or not any windows installations are found on your disks.

In this case, the process was able to find one Windows installation.

To add it back to my boot list so the boot manager can locate it during startup, type the command, bootrec /rebuildbcd and hit enter.

After that it should tell you again that it has identified your windows installation, it then asks whether you want to add it to your boot list. If you have multiple windows installations it could give you all the available installations and the corresponding drives where they are stored.

At this point, if you would want to add all the installations to the boot list, then type A and hit enter to complete the process. The A option would also work if you have only a single windows installation. Next type exit to close the terminal, and then restart your computer to see if it now works.

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SOLUTION 6. Using Diskpart to Re-Activate Your Windows Disk Partition

This suggestion will require that you have a bootable USB with Windows installation files stored in it, if you are yet to make one, you can follow the step by step procedure HERE to do that.

Attach your bootable USB with Windows installation files and boot into it. Wait for the installation files to load. On this window, hit next.

Then on the page that follows, select Repair your computer.

Here select Troubleshoot,

Then select Command prompt,

A command-line terminal should pop up. Here run the following commands:

  1. Diskpart, and hit enter
  2. Next type, list volume and hit enter. That should show the different volumes you have currently attached to your laptop.

Normally the volume with your Windows operating system should have the letter C, which is volume one in my case, another way to verify the volume with your windows is to check the sizes of the different volumes, normally it should be the largest volume except you have configure it otherwise, as you can see the other volumes I have here are in MBs other than volume 5 which is my bootable USB. Volume 1 which is the volume with windows is about 60 Gigabyte. Here I’m working on a virtual machine, on normal windows PC, this should be close to the size of your hard disk, except if you’ve done some disk partitioning, then the volume with your windows should be the size of the partition where you chose to install your Windows.

  1. Now that I’m sure that volume 1 is the volume with my Windows, I will go ahead and type, select volume 1 and hit enter.
  2. Next type the command active and hit enter.
  3. Then type in assign and hit enter.
  4. Type exit and hit enter to close diskpart. 
  5. Then finally type exit again to close the command line.

That should bring you back to this page, from here you can turn off your PC, remove the bootable USB and try to boot into Windows again.

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SOLUTION 7: Run System Restore

If all the above fixes fail, then you can consider running a system restore, for that you will need to make a bootable USB with Windows 10 installation media. Then on the initial setup screen, select “Repair your computer”, on the screen that follows select “Troubleshoot”. Then next select “Advanced options”, and “System Restore”. This will try to restore your system to some initial state if you have set some restore points previously.

Hope one of these was able to help you out. If you have any questions regarding the procedures, please post in the comment section to get more help. The video below demonstrates most of the suggestions discussed above.

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